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U.S. Pays Highest Prices for Cancer Meds: Study

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – The United States pays the highest prices in the world for generic and brand-name cancer drugs, a new study has found. However, as the world's wealthiest nation, the United States is better able to pay for those pricey drugs than poorer countries with somewhat lower medication prices, added study lead author Dr. Daniel Goldstein. People in China and India are much less able to afford cancer drugs than Americans, he said, even though U.S. monthly drug prices are about three to six times higher in the United States. That doesn't mean America came out on top in overall drug affordability, however. Developed nations such as Australia, England and Israel had the "best deal" in the world on cancer drugs, thanks to government programs that regulate drug pricing, the study found. "America is the wealthiest nation, but its drug prices are significantly higher – so much ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis

'Precision' Cancer Treatment May Extend Lives

Posted 20 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – "Precision" cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to outperform traditional chemotherapy, a new research review finds. Patients given precision – or personalized – treatment experienced a tumor shrinkage rate six times that attained by regular chemotherapy. But, that only happened if doctors used genetic information to choose the appropriate targeted therapy, said lead researcher Maria Schwaederle. Those patients also experienced nearly double the length of time before their cancer resumed growing, according to the analysis of nearly 350 clinical trials. "It is not just that the therapies are better, but that targeted therapies must be given to the right patients," said Schwaederle, who's with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. She will present ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, BCG, Revlimid, Tasigna, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Zytiga

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Rituxan

Too Few Prostate Cancer Patients Get Bone-Strengthening Meds: Study

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 – Many men on hormone therapy for prostate cancer aren't getting bone-strengthening drugs they may need, new Canadian research contends. Hormone therapy, which suppresses male hormones called androgens, helps stop cancer cells from growing. But one consequence of the treatment is weakening of the bones, which can lead to fractures. To reduce this risk, men can be given oral bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, or an intravenous treatment once a month or once a year with similar drugs, such as Reclast. "There seems to be a clear mismatch between Canadian guidelines regarding bisphosphonate usage in men undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer and actual clinical practice," said lead researcher Dr. Shabbir Alibhai, a senior scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto. While the low rates of bisphosphonate prescriptions may be appropriate for patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Fosamax, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Femara, Lupron Depot, Boniva, Isotretinoin, Alendronate, Claravis, Anastrozole, Reclast, Evista, Zoladex

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Clindamycin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Azithromycin, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis, Votrient, Anastrozole, Avastin

Gene Mutation Linked to Chemo-Resistant Colon Cancer

Posted 4 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 – Some people with advanced colorectal cancer are resistant to some types of chemotherapy, and a mutation in the so-called TFAP2E gene may play a part in that resistance, German researchers report. Knowing which patients carry the mutation might help doctors tailor treatments or develop new targets for therapy, the researchers said. "In our study, we identified a gene which is frequently altered in colorectal cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Matthias P.A. Ebert, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Magdeburg. "This genetic alteration is associated with increased resistance to chemotherapy and radiation in colorectal cancers." The findings appear in the Jan. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. For the study, Ebert's team analyzed how the TFAP2E gene functioned in colorectal cancer tumors. Overall, they looked at more than 200 ... Read more

Related support groups: Fluorouracil, Colorectal Cancer, Oxaliplatin, Irinotecan, Eloxatin, Adrucil, Camptosar

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin

Chemo Combo May Help Stave Off Pancreatic Cancer Death

Posted 11 May 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 11 – A four-drug chemotherapy regimen for deadly pancreatic cancer nearly doubled patients' survival time compared to standard chemotherapy, a new study suggests. In late-stage trials, French researchers split a group of 342 patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the most common form of the disease, into two groups. Half received gemcitabine, the standard treatment, while the rest received FOLFIRINOX, a four-drug combination of oxaliplatin, irinotecan, leucovorin and fluorouracil. The median survival time improved from 6.8 months for those in the gemcitabine group to 11.1 months in the FOLFIRINOX group, according to the study, which is published in the May 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Those in the combination group did suffer greater side effects from treatment, however. "We explain to the patients the advantages and toxicities of both ... Read more

Related support groups: Fluorouracil, Pancreatic Cancer, Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin, Irinotecan, Eloxatin, Adrucil, Camptosar, Wellcovorin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Irinotecan Hydrochloride Injection: Recall - Fungal Microbial Contaminant

Posted 1 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: APP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. issued a voluntary recall of five lots of Irinotecan Hydrochloride Injection due to the discovery of foreign material and non-sterility in one lot of Irinotecan injection. Non-sterility of a chemotherapeutic product administered via the intravenous route has the potential to result in infections, which could be fatal, especially in patients who are immunocompromised. BACKGROUND: Irinotecan Hydrochloride Injection is used for recurrent or progressive metastatic colorectal cancer. Three customers reported that they discovered a particulate in the product solution in lot 870DE00301. Investigation of the returned vials confirmed that the particulate was a fungal microbial contaminant. See the Firm Press Release for a listing of recalled lot numbers. RECOMMENDATION: Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any ... Read more

Related support groups: Irinotecan, Camptosar

FDA Medwatch Alert: Camptosar (irinotecan hydrochloride)

Posted 2 Jul 2002 by Drugs.com

The prescribing information in the BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS sections were revised to identify patients at higher risk of severe toxicity, to clarify dose modification guidelines, and to augment information about management of treatment-related toxicities, including severe and occasionally life-threatening diarrhea. Read more

Related support groups: Camptosar

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